Desiree enjoyed working as a fisher, setting traps and nets underwater to catch food for the other islanders, and making repairs to the boats. While the work itself wasn't necessarily enjoyable, it helped keep the Island peaceful and her people happy, and Desiree liked swimming. As always, the bay was beautiful and the catches were plentiful.
The sun was working it's way down to the edge of the horizon, so she took her leave and went to her hut to dry off and prepare for the evening.
Tonight she would do what she enjoyed most: dancing late into the night to beautiful music, with partners that could match her in skill and beauty.
Like many of the others, Desiree's hut was small and simple. Inside was everything she needed to live: a hammock to sleep in, a wardrobe for clothing (which also held the sandals that she never wore), a basin for water, two shelves to hold various items.
Desiree let routine take over as she got ready for the evening, choosing a simple white dress that was both flattering and easy to move in, and a green belt which draped nicely around her hips. She combed her long hair and pulled back the sides, pinning them in place with a wooden pin carved in the shape of a lily. She put a simple ring on her right hand which signified her occupation as a philosopher and checked her reflection in the small mirror hanging above the hammock.
She was ready.
She walked down the path, half tempted to run as the familiar lilt of Island music touched her ears. But Desiree would not run for anything, especially when she had all of eternity to do the things she wanted.
Then, she heard a snap and some nervous giggles. No doubt, a couple was skipping the dancing in favor of making love. Desiree made a face, a wave of distaste running through her. The dancing was the best part of any evening.
"Be quiet." Desiree froze. She knew that voice. "You should have waited until later. People are still arriving."
She turned and squinted, looking through the trees to see two figures.
"I don't care." a second voice replied. "You said you could get me what I need, so let's just get this over with. Then you can go to your precious dancing."
"It's not about the dancing, it's about community. Seth will be waiting, so let's go."
The first voice belonged to Nahum, Desiree's childhood companion. They were born on the same day to two completely different sets of parents, a rarity on the Island that had yet to be repeated. The second voice was unknown to Desiree, but she was surprised. Why were they meeting Seth at this time of night, and what for?
Desiree looked at the path towards the Meeting Place, then back through the trees, where Nahum and his mysterious companion were disappearing quickly due to the fading light.
She had eternity to dance, but not to find out what was going on. This odd development was one outside Desiree's sphere of normality, and she knew she would hold her first regret if she did not follow them right now.
After all, people only went to see Seth when they wanted to leave the Island. But no one met with him in secret unless their journey was strictly covert.
Covert meant dangerous, and Desiree had never experienced danger before.